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Football: Former TCU players selected in 2024 UFL Dispersal Draft

Travin Howard, TJ Carter and Antonio Ortiz will compete in the inaugural season this spring.

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Spring football will have a new look this year, with the USFL and the XFL merging to become the United Football League (UFL). The new league will feature eight teams including the Arlington Renegades, D.C. Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas, St. Louis Battlehawks, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Roughnecks, Memphis Showboats and Michigan Panthers.

As the new league moves closer to its season opener on March 30, a three-phase player dispersal process kicked off on Jan. 5, when three former TCU football players were selected to UFL rosters. Linebacker Travin Howard and defensive back TJ Carter will play for the Stallions and long snapper Antonio Ortiz will play for the Renegades.

Howard was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft and helped the team win a Super Bowl in 2022. The former TCU linebacker has played in 29 NFL games and has recorded 44 total tackles along with six passes defensed and one interception over the course of his NFL career. Howard was signed by the Buffalo Bills before the start of the 2023 regular season, but was released toward the end of August.

Carter was signed to the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2022, eventually moving to the practice squad before making his NFL debut against the Denver Broncos in Week 16, recording one tackle in a 51-14 win. Carter signed a reserve/futures contract in early 2023, but was waived in March. Carter’s collegiate career included one season at TCU in 2021, when the former Memphis defensive back started 10 games and totaled 63 tackles.

Ortiz was a four-year starting long snapper at TCU from 2018-2021. The three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree appeared in 44 games as a Horned Frog and was both a Patrick Mannelly Award Semifinalist and an NFLPA Collegiate Bowl attendee in 2021.